Powers & Abilities
Superman possesses extraordinary powers, with the traditionally described phrase: “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”. Superman’s famous arsenal of powers include flight, super-strength, invulnerability to non-magical attacks, super-speed, vision powers (including x-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red, and microscopic vision), super-hearing, and super-breath, which enables him to blow out air at freezing temperatures, as well as exert the propulsive force of high-speed winds.
- Superhuman Strength: Enhanced strength much greater than that of a human and even most superhumans, making him “more powerful than a locomotive,” is one of Superman’s signature powers and has often been described as chief among his other abilities.
- Invulnerability: Immunity to almost all forms of harm and ailments, including extreme force and extremely high temperatures
- Healing Factor: Superman is shown to possess remarkable recuperative powers that allow him to quickly heal from wounds and makes him immune to all forms of human or Earthly diseases, illnesses, viruses and toxins.
- Flight: The ability to naturally defy and operate independently of gravity and propel himself through the air at will.
- Superhuman Speed: Another one of Superman’s signature abilities is his superhuman speed, allowing him to move, react, run, and fly extraordinarily fast.
- X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through solid objects, usually with the exception of lead.
- Heat Vision: Ability to emit solar energy from his eyes. Usually resembles bright red or orange laser-like beams, which may be invisible at low temperatures but extremely bright at high ones.
- Superhuman Breath: Ability to inhale and exhale huge volumes of air with great force, capable of extinguishing large fires and moving heavy objects such as cars
- Superhuman Hearing: Can hear far more sounds with far more detail and at far greater distances than normally humanly possible, including sounds on frequencies undetectable by humans such as dog whistles.
- Superhuman Vision: His senses grant him the ability to see farther and with greater accuracy and detail than humanly possible.
- Superhuman Olfaction – A heightened and highly accurate sense of smell comparable to some animals such as dogs.
- Intelligence: Superman is consistently shown as being more intelligent than the average human.
Superman is most vulnerable to green Kryptonite, mineral debris from Krypton transformed into radioactive material by the forces that destroyed the planet. Exposure to green Kryptonite radiation nullifies Superman’s powers and immobilizes him with pain and nausea; prolonged exposure will eventually kill him. The only substance on Earth that can protect him from Kryptonite is lead, which blocks the radiation. Lead is also the only known substance that Superman cannot see through with his x-ray vision.
- Kryptonite: Superman’s most famous weakness, kryptonite originated as radioactive fragments of the planet Krypton, created by fusion during the explosion that destroyed it.
- Red Sun Radiation: Natural in Krypton’s planetary system, red solar radiation replaces the higher-yield yellow solar energy in Superman’s cells, robbing him of the fuel for his powers.
- Magic: While not so much an actual weakness, Superman’s invulnerability offers no protection against magic.
Clark Kent, Kal-El
Superman is commonly seen as a brave and kind-hearted hero with a strong sense of justice, morality and righteousness. He adheres to a strict moral code often attributed to the small-town American values with which he was raised. His commitment to operating within the law has been an example to many citizens and other heroes but has stirred resentment and criticism among others, who refer to him as the “big blue boy scout.”